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San Francisco
Shakespeare
Festival

Celebrating 42 years of Access, Engagement, and Education

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access

San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s mission is to make the words and themes of Shakespeare accessible to everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, financial status or level of education. By lowering practical and perceptual barriers, we encourage broad participation in the arts and make these activities a part of community life.

engagement

The Festival serves as a catalyst for audience development by reaching thousands of people who otherwise do not attend live theater or may have never experienced it at all. Our programming represents the plays in their finest light, demonstrates their relevance to today’s society, and inspires our students and audiences to seek out additional theatrical experiences.

education

We are dedicated to arts education, using our programs to foster a life-long appreciation of learning and the arts. We offer day camps and classes for children age 7 to 17, as well as in-school residencies and playshops.

what's shakin'

free shakespeare in the park
july - september 2024

Get all the info you need, including dates, times and locations, to attend this summer’s Free Shakespeare in the Park production of The Tempest.

shakespeare camps
july - august

Experience welcome but not required for our  Bay Area Shakespeare Camp programs for ages 7-13.  Sign Up Now for the 2024 session at Santa Clara University!  (The San Francisco sessions for ages 7-13 are filled to capacity.)
The Advanced Shakespeare Workshop (in San Francisco,  ages 12-18, audition required) is currently accepting applications.

shakespeare on tour
February - May 2025

Bring the magic of live theater and the beauty of Shakespeare’s poetic language to YOUR location. Send your booking requests NOW for this popular title!

gala and auction
april 20

Our annual gala fundraiser returns April 20, 2024 with All The World’s A Stage at the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club. Celebrating our 42 years of Shakespeare, there will be dining, a live performance of As You Like It, and everyone can participate in the auction to make donations and bid on wine, travel, experiences, and more.

Let's talk about
As You Like It

recorded Panel discussion

We’re delighted to share a recording of this fascinating panel conversation (that took place on March 25), featuring Dr. Will Tosh, Head of Research at Shakespeare’s Globe, London in conversation with SF Shakes Artistic Director Carla Pantoja and hosted by SF Shakes Board Member Dan Rabinowitz.

Dan, Carla, and Will touched on a wide variety of the remarkable features and the artistic and historical context of this wonderful comedy. They see it as a remarkable social commentary that is just as relevant today as it was in 1599, as Shakespeare’s great implicit feminist statement, and as a play that touches on and implicates gender issues more broadly in ways that resonate with our audiences.

Let's talk about
The Tempest

Recorded Panel discussion

Our next conversation series (that took place on June 17) featured this summers’ Free Shakes in the Park Director Rotimi Agbabiaka in conversation with SF Shakes Artistic Director Carla Pantoja and hosted by SF Shakes Board Member Dan Rabinowitz.

Dan and Carla engaged in lively and insightful discussion with Rotimi, who shared his directorial perspectives on this summer’s Free Shakespeare in the Park production of The Tempest and his intent to highlight the themes of forgiveness and recovering from loss.

Let's talk about
The Tempest

July 8 @ noon via zoom

The July 8 conversation features Dr. Farah Karim-Cooper, the incoming Director of The Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC.

Board Member Dan Rabinowitz will host this third discussion, in which he and SF Shakes Artistic Director Carla Pantoja will engage in conversation about The Tempest with Dr. Farah Karim-Cooper. The discussion will explore and examine her deeply thoughtful analysis of race, gender and otherness in The Tempest, along with a radical reappraisal of society in Elizabethan London, the backdrop from which Shakespeare’s plays emerged and against which they were presented.

shakespeare's heartbeat
Engaging Students on the autism spectrum

Shakespeare’s Heartbeat uses the Hunter Heartbeat Method developed by Kelly Hunter of Flute Theatre, utilizing the iambic pentameter (heartbeat rhythm) of Shakespeare’s words and the physicality of his characters to engage with students on the autism spectrum. Geared towards grades 4-12. 

saturday classes for teens
Oct 21 - Dec 9

Saturday Upstart Crows classes are physically and mentally engaging weekend sessions where students age 11-18 deepen their skills and knowledge through a comprehensive rehearsal process that explores language, history, voice, movement, text analysis, and play.

Next artistic director
carla pantoja

San Francisco Shakespeare Festival is proud to announce Carla Pantoja as its next Artistic Director. Pantoja will provide artistic vision, strategic direction, and passion to build on SF Shakes’ 40-year commitment to changing lives through accessible Shakespeare-based performances, education, and engagement.

support sf shakes

Your gift keeps Shakespeare accessible to all.
Donate today to make a difference.

Events

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social

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Happy Solstice!
Summer solstice traditions have often included gatherings with family and friends, outdoor feasts and festivities, singing, dancing, concerts, and performances. This years solstice also marks one month till the first performance of Free Shakespeare in the Park - which incorporates a number of those traditions. 

Mark your calendars and make the most of this celestial event that heralds the start of summer and the countdown to theatrical brilliance!

See the summer schedule! 
https://sfshakes.org/performance/free-shakes/tempest/#scheduleImage attachment

Happy Solstice!
Summer solstice traditions have often included gatherings with family and friends, outdoor feasts and festivities, singing, dancing, concerts, and performances. This year's solstice also marks one month till the first performance of Free Shakespeare in the Park - which incorporates a number of those traditions.

Mark your calendars and make the most of this celestial event that heralds the start of summer and the countdown to theatrical brilliance!

See the summer schedule!
sfshakes.org/performance/free-shakes/tempest/#schedule
... See MoreSee Less

24 hours ago
The Graduate Theatre Troupe from College of Adaptive Arts (our “Shakespeare’s Heartbeat” program partner) will perform a modern adaptation of LOVES LABOURS LOST this Sat, June 22 at 3pm. 
Filled with friendly flirtations, playful pranks, and silly shenanigans this is a show for the whole family! 

Watch in person at the West Valley College Campus Center or on Zoom.
Tickets and details at https://ow.ly/yYva50SlkSC

The Graduate Theatre Troupe from College of Adaptive Arts (our “Shakespeare’s Heartbeat” program partner) will perform a modern adaptation of LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST this Sat, June 22 at 3pm.
Filled with friendly flirtations, playful pranks, and silly shenanigans this is a show for the whole family!

Watch in person at the West Valley College Campus Center or on Zoom.
Tickets and details at ow.ly/yYva50SlkSC
... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago
Video image

Looking for a move this weekend? Check out GHOSTLIGHT (being released in SF on June 21). A reserved construction worker and his rebellious teenage daughter bond through a production of ‘Romeo & Juliet’. This moving story about the power of art and community wowed audiences in Sundance and SXSW. See the trailer ... See MoreSee Less

3 days ago

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